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Zapotec Science Farming and Food in the Northern Sierra of Oaxaca

ISBN-10: 0292728328
ISBN-13: 9780292728325
Edition: 2001
List price: $32.95 Buy it from $22.72
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Description: Zapotec farmers in the northern sierra of Oaxaca, Mexico, are highly successful in providing their families with abundant, nutritious food in an ecologically sustainable fashion, although the premises that guide their agricultural practices would be  More...

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Book details

List price: $32.95
Copyright year: 2001
Publisher: University of Texas Press
Publication date: 8/15/2001
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 342
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.00" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.232

Zapotec farmers in the northern sierra of Oaxaca, Mexico, are highly successful in providing their families with abundant, nutritious food in an ecologically sustainable fashion, although the premises that guide their agricultural practices would be considered erroneous by the standards of most agronomists and botanists in the United States and Europe. In this book, Roberto Gonzaacute;lez convincingly argues that in fact Zapotec agricultural and dietary theories and practices constitute a valid local science, which has had a reciprocally beneficial relationship with European and United States farming and food systems since the sixteenth century.Gonzaacute;lez bases his analysis upon direct participant observation in the farms and fields of a Zapotec village. By using the ethnographic fieldwork approach, he is able to describe and analyze the rich meanings that campesino families attach to their crops, lands, and animals. Gonzaacute;lez also reviews the history of maize, sugarcane, and coffee cultivation in the Zapotec region to show how campesino farmers have intelligently and scientifically adapted their farming practices to local conditions over the course of centuries. By setting his ethnographic study of the Talea de Castro community within a historical world systems perspective, he also skillfully weighs the local impact of national and global currents ranging from Spanish colonialism to the 1910 Mexican Revolution to NAFTA. At the same time, he shows how, at the turn of the twenty-first century, the sustainable practices of "traditional" subsistence agriculture are beginning to replace the failed, unsustainable techniques of modern industrial farming in some parts of the United States and Europe.

Acknowledgments
The Conceptual Bases of Zapotec Farming and Foodways
Locating Talea: Geography, History, and Cultural Contexts
The Craft of the Campesino: Measures, Implements, and Artifacts
"Maize Has a Soul": Rinc�n Zapotec Notions of Living Matter
From Milpa to Tortilla: Growing, Eating, and Exchanging Maize
Sweetness and Reciprocity: Sugarcane Work
The Invention of "Traditional" Agriculture: The History and Meanings of Coffee
Agriculture Unbound: Cultivating the Ground between Science Traditions
Pronunciation of Rinc�n Zapotec Terms
Talean Food Plants
Talean Livestock and Game Animals
Selected Average Crop Yields
Recipes
Notes
References
Index

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